A Syriac note (after 1965) from Tehran about manuscripts purchased from a Jewish bookseller   6 comments

Among the few manuscripts of the Chaldean Church of St. Joseph in Tehran is a late (1896), huge codex (№ 5) with 71 memre of Narsai. A typewritten note by Ph. Gignoux (dated Mar 23, 1966) accompanies the book, saying that it is a copy of BL Or 5463 (on which see Margoliouth, Descriptive List, pp. 49-50), which is dated 1893 and was copied in Urmi. (In his edition of the homilies of Narsai on creation, Gignoux calls this manuscript Téhéran № 1 and uses the siglum F; see PO 34: 520 [102].) At the beginning of the book is a very interesting note in Syriac that was written some time after 1965.

Tehran, Chaldean Church of St. Joseph, № 5, p. [iii]

Tehran, Chaldean Church of St. Joseph, № 5, p. [iii]

Transliteration (with vowels):

zebnet l-aṣṣaḥtā hādē d-mēmrē d-narsay ʿam ʿesrā ṣḥāḥē (ʾ)ḥrānē ktibay idā menhon ḥdattā mšamlaytā d-dārā da-tlāt-ʿsar w-hākwāt orāytā d-yattir qallil d-hu kad hu zabnā. d-šaddret enon l-bēt arkē d-watiqan l-appay šnat 1965 l-māran men gabrā ihudāyā ba-šmā d-sulaymān ahron [hārūn?] d-ḥānutēh simā (h)wāt qallil l-ʿel men l-qublā d-izgaddutā d-england da-b-plaṭṭiā d-ferdawsi b-tehran mdi(n)tā

✝ yoḥannān simʿān ʿisāy

miṭropoliṭa d-kaldāyē d-tehran [transp.]

English translation:

I bought this copy of the homilies of Narsai together with ten other manuscripts — including a complete New Testament of the thirteenth century, and similarly an Old Testament, more or less of the same time, which I sent to the Vatican Library — about the year 1965 AD from a Jewish man named Solomon Aaron, whose shop is situated a little up and across from the English embassy on Ferdowsi Avenue in Tehran.

Yoḥannān Simʿān ʿIsāy

Metropolitan of the Chaldeans of Tehran

[Thanks to Grigory Kessel for the suggestion that watiqan refers to the Vatican Library.]

For some photos along Ferdowsi Avenue, including an old picture of the British embassy, see here. It is unknown exactly where the bookseller’s shop was located, but both the church and the embassy are easily discovered on the map:

 

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6 responses to “A Syriac note (after 1965) from Tehran about manuscripts purchased from a Jewish bookseller

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  1. Dear Adam,
    Thank you so much for letting us know about that note that is very important for the history of the Chaldean collection of mss in Teheran.

    Don’t you think that bēt arkē d-waṯīqan could be ‘the Vatican library’?

    Yours
    Grigory

  2. Dear Adam,

    Thank you so much for letting us know about that note that is of great importance for the history of the Chaldean collection of mss in Teheran.

    Don’t you think that bēt arkē d-waṯīqan could be ‘the Vatican library’?

    Yours
    Grigory

  3. Adam:
    Thanks for your post. I think the most likely candidates for the two volumes “sent to the Vatican Library” are VS 638 (ES Pentateuch) and VS 640 (ES New Testament). When I look at these manuscripts again (for the catalogue of new accessions – VS 632-667) I’ll check and see if there is any indication of this donation.
    My best,
    Kristian

  4. Pingback: Two witnesses to the Apocalypse of Paul in Syriac from Tehran | hmmlorientalia

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